Josh Philpot

Theology, the Church, and Music

Was Adam for real life?

with 2 comments

As an evangelical Old Testament student I see Tremper Longman’s name pretty frequently. I begrudgingly read his Introduction to the Old Testament as a junior in college but enjoyed it in the end. I also found his commentary on Proverbs somewhat helpful (though not in the Waltke sense).

However, I’m often at odds sometimes with much of what Longman says or writes. For instance, I remember Dr. Gentry dismantling Longman’s thesis in the NICOT series that Ecclesiastes is equivalent to fictionalized biography (i.e. Frame Narrative theory – see Duane Garrett’s refutation as well in his own commentary, 260-65), which I found to be a serious flap on Longman’s part. I also recently came across this interesting little clip of Longman commenting on the historical Adam, which just adds to my disparity:

For Longman, then, Adam’s historicity isn’t really the main point, and shouldn’t really affect our exegesis or theology. But that’s the question: Does Adam have to be an historical figure for the Bible to make sense, like Longman says? And, what are the implications for sin and headship if Adam is not? Biblical theology? Further, what would John Walton say (for those of you who have read his new book)?


Written by Josh Philpot

September 21, 2009 at 11:23 am

2 Responses

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  1. Josh,

    I am with you on this point. The view that Longman presents is untenable in my opinion. To go with your implications, such a view causes significant challenges for what it means for Christ to be the Second Adam (Rom 5).


    September 21, 2009 at 12:18 pm

  2. He came out with a new Genesis commentary in the new Story of God Bible Commentary series. I’d like to read his whole spiel on the (non)historical Adam. I can’t agree with him on this position either.


    April 3, 2016 at 5:42 pm

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